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WEDNESDAY EDITION: I believe it was Monday night I listened to he "thick as a brick" net on 75 mters. Not a bad listen....How to attach radials to a vertical.....

X6100 is an ultra-portable shortwave transceiver, and adopts the SDR software radio platform architecture of excellent performance, which carries powerful baseband and RF unit, and integrates rich and diversified operating functions, bringing you a brand-new recognition and experience on amateur radio. With its compact structure and tiny appearance, you can immediately set forth on a journey with it, get close to nature, and enjoy the fun of
outdoor communication.

TUESDAY EDITION: The world's first wooden satellite will launch this year ...We are giving away millions of dollars of covid shots all around the  world, how many did Russia and China throw in? ....Michael Mitchell, a teacher at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School, is helping local students earn their HAM technician license in hopes that the children can operate on some HF frequencies and utilize voice communications or phone bands. Phone bands will allow them to send data packages, emails and text messages using radio waves as opposed to using a cellular device or WIFI....

Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet Island Cancelled

The Intrepid-DX Group announced over the weekend that it has cancelled its long-anticipated 3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet Island. The DXpedition team had planned to travel to Bouvet via the RV Braveheart, owned by Nigel Jolly, K6NRJ. Jolly has told the DXpedition that Braveheart is being sold and he’s cancelled its contract for the 3Y0J voyage.

“The global pandemic has impacted the expedition charter vessel business very hard; this includes the venerable RV Braveheart, which has provided outstanding safety and service to many DXpeditions,” DXpedition co-leaders Paul Ewing, N6PSE, and Kenneth Opskar LA7GIA, said in announcing the news on June 13. “Today, we were informed that Braveheart will be sold. As a result, Nigel Jolly will no longer be associated with the ship, our contract with the ship has been cancelled, and our deposit will be refunded. This is a very disappointing development to all involved.”

The DXpedition said that it has stopped accepting donations and will refund 100% of the donations using the same method they were received. “This process will take several weeks to sort out, so please be patient,” the announcement said. “We wish to thank our team for putting their trust in us. We wish to thank all of the donors and sponsors that gave generously to this project. We will continue to research other ships and possibly find another suitable vessel for a future project.”

ARRL announced in April that it had awarded a $5,000 Colvin Grant to the Intrepid-DX Group to help in funding the DXpedition to Bouvet Island, scheduled for January to February 2023. A dependency of Norway, Bouvet is a sub-Antarctic island in the South Atlantic. It is the second-most-wanted DXCC entity, behind North Korea. 

Navajo Code Talkers special event

Look for Special Event Station (SES) N7C to be active between August 10-14th.

Activity is the 17th annual special event station's celebration of the 'Navajo Code Talkers', normally from Window Rock, AZ.

However, because of the continued closure of the Navajo Nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the SES will be on the air from the home stations of Ray-W7USA, Bob-K7BHM, John-W5PDW, and Herb-N7HG (who's father was a Code Talker).

QSL to N7HG or N7C at the QRZ.com address.

Navajo Code Talkers special event

Look for Special Event Station (SES) N7C to be active between August 10-14th.

Activity is the 17th annual special event station's celebration of the 'Navajo Code Talkers', normally from Window Rock, AZ.

However, because of the continued closure of the Navajo Nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the SES will be on the air from the home stations of Ray-W7USA, Bob-K7BHM, John-W5PDW, and Herb-N7HG (who's father was a Code Talker).

QSL to N7HG or N7C at the QRZ.com address.

 

MONDAY EDITION: Band conditions improving with lots of activity on 6 and 10, nice to see....A 76-year-old man believed to be the head of the world's largest family has died in India's Mizoram state....

CHIME telescope detects more than 500 mysterious fast radio bursts in its first year of operation

Observations quadruple the number of known radio bursts and reveal two types: one-offs and repeaters.

To catch sight of a fast radio burst is to be extremely lucky in where and when you point your radio dish. Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are oddly bright flashes of light, registering in the radio band of the electromagnetic spectrum, that blaze for a few milliseconds before vanishing without a trace.

These brief and mysterious beacons have been spotted in various and distant parts of the universe, as well as in our own galaxy. Their origins are unknown, and their appearance is unpredictable. Since the first was discovered in 2007, radio astronomers have only caught sight of around 140 bursts in their scopes.

Now, a large stationary radio telescope in British Columbia has nearly quadrupled the number of fast radio bursts discovered to date. The telescope, known as CHIME, for the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, has detected 535 new fast radio bursts during its first year of operation, between 2018 and 2019.

Scientists with the CHIME Collaboration, including researchers at MIT, have assembled the new signals in the telescope’s first FRB catalog, which they will present at the American Astronomical Society Meeting.

The new catalog significantly expands the current library of known FRBs, and is already yielding clues as to their properties. For instance, the newly discovered bursts appear to fall in two distinct classes: those that repeat, and those that don’t. Scientists identified 18 FRB sources that burst repeatedly, while the rest appear to be one-offs. The repeaters also look different, with each burst lasting slightly longer and emitting more focused radio frequencies than bursts from single, nonrepeating FRBs.

These observations strongly suggest that repeaters and one-offs arise from separate mechanisms and astrophysical sources. With more observations, astronomers hope soon to pin down the extreme origins of these curiously bright signals.

“Before CHIME, there were less than 100 total discovered FRBs; now, after one year of observation, we’ve discovered hundreds more,” says CHIME member Kaitlyn Shin, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Physics. “With all these sources, we can really start getting a picture of what FRBs look like as a whole, what astrophysics might be driving these events, and how they can be used to study the universe going forward."

Seeing flashes

CHIME comprises four massive cylindrical radio antennas, roughly the size and shape of snowboarding half-pipes, located at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, operated by the National Research Council of Canada in British Columbia, Canada. CHIME is a stationary array, with no moving parts. The telescope receives radio signals each day from half of the sky as the Earth rotates.

While most radio astronomy is done by swiveling a large dish to focus light from different parts of the sky, CHIME stares, motionless, at the sky, and focuses incoming signals using a correlator — a powerful digital signaling processor that can work through huge amounts of data, at a rate of about 7 terabits per second, equivalent to a few percent of the world’s internet traffic.

“Digital signal processing is what makes CHIME able to reconstruct and ‘look’ in thousands of directions simultaneously,” says Kiyoshi Masui, assistant professor of physics at MIT, who will lead the group’s conference presentation. “That’s what helps us detect FRBs a thousand times more often than a traditional telescope.”

Over the first year of operation, CHIME detected 535 new fast radio bursts. When the scientists mapped their locations, they found the bursts were evenly distributed in space, seeming to arise from any and all parts of the sky. From the FRBs that CHIME was able to detect, the scientists calculated that bright fast radio bursts occur at a rate of about 800 per day across the entire sky — the most precise estimate of FRBs overall rate to date.

“That’s kind of the beautiful thing about this field — FRBs are really hard to see, but they’re not uncommon,” says Masui, who is a member of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. “If your eyes could see radio flashes the way you can see camera flashes, you would see them all the time if you just looked up.”

Mapping the universe

As radio waves travel across space, any interstellar gas, or plasma, along the way can distort or disperse the wave’s properties and trajectory. The degree to which a radio wave is dispersed can give clues to how much gas it passed through, and possibly how much distance it has traveled from its source.

For each of the 535 FRBs that CHIME detected, Masui and his colleagues measured its dispersion, and found that most bursts likely originated from far-off sources within distant galaxies. The fact that the bursts were bright enough to be detected by CHIME suggests that they must have been produced by extremely energetic sources. As the telescope detects more FRBs, scientists hope to pin down exactly what kind of exotic phenomena could generate such ultrabright, ultrafast signals.

Scientists also plan to use the bursts, and their dispersion estimates, to map the distribution of gas throughout the universe.

“Each FRB gives us some information of how far they’ve propagated and how much gas they’ve propagated through,” Shin says. “With large numbers of FRBs, we can hopefully figure out how gas and matter are distributed on very large scales in the universe. So, alongside the mystery of what FRBs are themselves, there’s also the exciting potential for FRBs as powerful cosmological probes in the future.”

This research was supported by various institutions including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, McGill University and the McGill Space Institute via the Trottier Family Foundation, and the University of British Columbia.

https://news.mit.edu/2021/chime-telescope-fast-radio-bursts-0609

MIR-SAT1 to deploy from ISS

The first amateur radio CubeSat from Mauritius is expected to be deployed from the International Space Station on June 22

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination page reports:

MIR-SAT1 is a 1U CubeSat mission with the following objectives:

1. Verify the performance of the on-board subsystems by receiving telemetry from the satellite and establish communication to and from the satellite (command and control).
2. Collect images of Mauritius and the Mauritian EEZ for capacity, building, experiment and research.
3. Experimental communication with other islands via the satellite (for scientific and/or emergency purposes), through a Radio Amateur digipeater payload.
4. V/U 9600bps GMSK digipeater may be open for Radio Amateur communication worldwide when the satellite not used for all above.

A downlink on 436.925 MHz has been coordinated. Decoders for the amateur radio community and schools have been developed by Chris AC2CZ and Daniel EA4GPZ and will be available in the public domain on their WEB sites/Github, Links will be provided before launch on Tweeter, AMSAT-BB and Space Mauritius, see
https://spacemauritius.com/#telemetry

Transatlantic Tests 100 Centenary

On the 12th December 1921, Paul Godley, 2ZE, received the first complete and verified amateur radio short wave transatlantic message ever sent, from a station based in Greenwich, Connecticut '1BCG'. This reception was during the second of four transatlantic tests coordinated between the ARRL and RSGB, which started on the 7th December 1921 for a period of 10 days.

After arriving in England, Godley’s initial station set-up was in London. This location however proved unsuitable as it was hampered by local QRN. Before leaving London, Godley discussed his plans with both Guglielmo Marconi and Harold Beverage who were coincidently in London too. After a brief reconnoitre of Scotland, Godley with the assistance of the local Glasgow based Marconi Company, finally settled on Ardrossan as the site to conduct his reception experiments. For these experiments Godley had a special permit issued by the GPO. Godley used state of the art receiving apparatus which was a Paragon regenerative receiver and an Armstrong superheterodyne receiver, hence his nickname “Paragon Paul”. Godley also erected a 1300-foot Beveridge antenna system which was to be the first installation and use of a Beveridge antenna system in the U.K.

Over the coming months, Radcom will be including detailed articles on the history of the series of Transatlantic Tests and explaining how you can take part in a number of events celebrating their centenary.

The Crocodile Rock Amateur Group (CRAG) are celebrating the centenary of Paul Godley’s success, in collaboration with North Ayrshire Council. With the assistance of the GMDX group, the special event and special/special event stations GB2ZE and GB1002ZE respectively will be operating from the 1st to the 28th December 2021. These stations will be operating from both the original site in Ardrossan and from the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre, Saltcoats, KA21 5AA. North Ayrshire Council will be hosting an exhibition celebrating Paul Godley and his transatlantic tests conducted in Ardrossan. Local primary and secondary school children will also benefit from this exhibition through an active and appropriate STEM theme that will include radio communications.

For the benefit of all UK and Crown Dependency radio amateurs, CRAG have negotiated the rare “2ZE” suffix which can be used between the 1st & 28th December 2021. This suffix can be used in conjunction with your “own callsign/2ZE”. At the time of this news update, preparations are also under way by the ARRL to commemorate the December 1921 transatlantic tests with an operating event which will be held in December 2021 – more will be explained in later Radcom issues. Why don’t you or your club get involved in the celebrations by using the 2ZE suffix and have some fun with the unfolding celebration event?

CRAG is keen to welcome volunteers with all aspects of the centenary celebrations and particularly with operating, logistics (particularly a mobile mast) and heritage archive coordination.
To volunteer or assist, please contact Bob Alexander (GM0DEQ). Email: robert@gm0deq.force9.co.uk or Robbie Vennard (GM0SEI). Email: gm0sei@googlemail.com.

 

WEEKEND EDITION: So some guy in Provincetown, MA on the Cape says he was swallowed by a fricken whale, yah right?......Up in Maine: Bopping through the wild blue, Amateur Radio Field Day makes a connection. The Kennebunk-based New England Radio Discussion Society facilitated a talk between Sea Road School students and an International Space Station in January. ...Field Day in Detroit....A 16-year-old entrepreneur reportedly brought in $1.7 million reselling video games, outdoor heaters, and above-ground swimming pools at sky-high prices during the pandemic .....Telescope detects hundreds of mysterious radio bursts from faraway galaxies ...I would not want to have been in this situation....

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Removing technology for a change

My first ever interaction with amateur radio was a field day on Boterhuiseiland near Leiden in the Netherlands when I was about twelve. The station was set-up in an army tent and the setting was Jamboree On The Air, or JOTA. My second field-day, a decade ago, was a visit to a local club set-up in the bush. At that point I already had my licence and I'd just started taking the first baby steps in what so-far has been a decade long journey of discovery into this amazing hobby.

A field day is really an excuse to build a portable station away from the shack and call CQ. A decade on, I vividly remember one member, Marty, now VK6RC, calling CQ DX and getting responses back from all over the world.

From that day on I looked for any opportunity to get on air and make noise. Often that's something I do in the form of a contest. I love this as a way of making contacts because each interaction is short and sweet, there's lots of stations playing from all over the planet and each contest has rules and scores. As a result you can compare your activity with others and look back at your previous efforts to see if you improved or not.

As you've heard me repeatedly say, I like to learn from each activity and see if there are things I could have done differently. I tend to think of this as a cycle of continuous improvement.

A few months ago a friend asked me if I was interested in doing a contest with him. For me that was a simple question to answer, YES, of course!

Over the last few months we've been talking about how we'd like to do this and what we'd like to accomplish. For example, for me there's been a regular dissatisfaction that during portable logging I've made mistakes with recording the band correctly in the log and having to manually go back and fix this, taking away from making contacts and having fun. To prevent that, I wanted to make sure that we had electronic logging that was linked to the radio in the same way as I do in my shack, so it didn't happen again. It was a small improvement, but I felt it was important.

Doing this meant that we'd either need to sort out a computer link, known as CAT, or Computer Assisted Tuning for his radio in the vehicle, or bring my radio, CAT control, power adaptors as well as bring a laptop, power supply and last but not least find space in the vehicle to mount all this so it would work ergonomically for a 24 hour mobile contest. The vehicle in question is the pride and joy of Thomas VK6VCR, a twenty-odd year old Toyota Land Cruiser Ute with two seats, three if you count the middle of the bench, and neither of us would ever be described as petite, so space is strictly limited.

In playing this out and trying to determine what needed to go where, we discovered that this wasn't going to work and I made the bold proposal to go old school and use a paper log.

This would mean that we could use the existing radio, without needing to sort out CAT control, the need for any power adaptors, no space required for a laptop, no power for that, no extra wiring in the vehicle, and a whole lot more simplicity. So that's what we're doing, paper log and a headlamp to be able to see in the dark.

I must confess that I'm apprehensive of this whole caper, but I keep reminding myself that this too is an experience, good or bad, and at the end of the day, we're here to have fun. I might learn that this was the worst idea I've ever had, or I might learn that this works great. It's not the first time I've used a paper-log, so I'm aware of plenty of pitfalls, not the least of which is deciphering my own handwriting, the ingenuous project of three, or was it four, different handwriting systems taught to me by subsequent teachers in different countries. There's the logistics of being able to read and write at an odd distance, trying to work out how to operate the microphone with the wrong hand, though we are trialling a headset and boom microphone with a push to talk button, and then there's the radio, one I've used before, but not in a contest setting and not whilst driving around on the seat of a 4WD hell-bent on rattling my teeth from their sockets.

On the plus side, I've done a contest with my friend before and he is familiar with my competitive streak and we're both up for a laugh, so I'm confident that despite the challenges that lie ahead, we're going to make fun and enjoy the adventure.

I can't wait to find out if simplifying things will result in a better experience and only trying it will tell. I'll let you know how it goes.

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and what did you do? How did it work out?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

The Termination Event

Something big may be about to happen on the sun. It's called the 'Termination Event' and it could kickstart Solar Cycle 25 into a higher gear.

A handful of solar physicists are bucking conventional wisdom to promote this idea--and we will soon find out if they are correct.

Full story @ Spaceweather.com.

A 'tall story' from Turkey

The Çamlca TV-Radio Tower in Istanbul stands 369 meters tall, a futuristic, state of the art structure being heralded as the tallest telecommunications tower in all of Europe.

At its inauguration, the Turkish President praised the high-tech structure for its ability to carry 100 FM
broadcasts simultaneously, noting that it replaces numerous outdated facilities that had previously stood on the same hill. The mass of older towers had long been criticized as marring the city's skyline.

The tower is located on the Asian side of the city and its highest point is more than 580 meters above sea level.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report

ISS CROSSBAND REPEATER READY FOR FIELD DAY OPERATORS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our top story this week may just help you prepare for Field Day. If you're looking to score some bonus points during those two days, try making a contact via the International Space Station. The InterOperable Radio System on board the ISS will remain in crossband repeater mode during Field Day on the 26th and 27th of June. This is a change from the original plan to switch operation from crossband back to APRS packet during the second week of June. That changeover has been postponed until after Field Day.

By using the repeater, you don't just get a Field Day QSO point but bonus points. In fact, crossband repeater contacts can also be used that same weekend for AMSAT Field Day for satellite operations. The repeater frequencies are 145.990 MHz FM up, 67 Hz tone and 437.800 MHz down. ARISS recommends pre-Field Day practice sessions for any hams who've never used the repeater before.

(ARISS)

**
NASA TO TEST DATA TRANSFER VIA LASER COMMUNICAIONS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: If you're interested in an alternate communications mode, consider the option that NASA is exploring. Kent Peterson KC0DGY brings us those details.

KENT: Welcome to the age of optical communications. This month NASA is launching the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration or LCRD, as a payload on a US satellite in geosynchronous orbit some 22,000 miles from Earth. This demonstration will test higher bandwidth transfer using optical communications which may supplement traditional data transfer using radio.

The infrared light used for laser communications differs from radio waves because the laser packs the data into significantly tighter waves increasing the data throughput 10 to 100 times more than that of radio frequency systems. Laser communications systems are also smaller and weigh less. The LCRD is expected to use a data rate of 1.2 gigabits per second in its communications with ground stations in California and Hawaii.

NASA said on its website that radio technology's limits are being challenged by newer technologies. At this data rate, one could download a two-hour movie in about 20 seconds.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.

(NASA, PHOTONICS.COM)

**
PRIDE RADIO GROUP PROJECT HELPS SHACK STARTUP COSTS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: For some hams in Australia, the cost of starting in amateur radio just got a little easier. Graham Kemp VK4BB tells us why.

GRAHAM: In Australia, the Pride Radio Group is working to take the financial sting out of becoming a ham. The group is making free kits with basic equipment available to Pride members who qualify for the assistance and live in Australia. Pride is also providing tutorials on how to get started with the kits. The kits contain, in part, an FM/DMR Handie Talkie, a NanoVNA with RF Demo board, a hotspot, cables and adapters along with several other basic essentials.

Michaela Wheeler, VK3FUR/VK4XSS, the group's founder, said this is one way to offset the high cost of starting in amateur radio in Australia, an effort that can carry a price tag of about $195 Australian dollars. Pride Radio Group, which was formed last year as a welcoming organisation for amateur radio operators in the LGBTQ community, has shown a consistent growth in membership and now has a roster of 241.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.

(MICHAELA WHEELER, VK3FUR/VK4XSS)

**
NEW UK HAM CLUB SCHEDULES FIRST IN-PERSON MEETING

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: For one of the newest clubs in the UK, the next meeting will not only be in person meeting but will be their first. Jeremy Boot G4NJH explains.

JEREMY: Even as the pandemic was forcing people into isolation last year, one of the newest amateur radio clubs in the UK was making plans to bring radio operators together — at least in spirit if not in person.

Paul M0XZT and Andi 2E0GGX started up the East Ardsley Radio Society G3EAR to fill a need for local hams wanting to be together. Now the newly created club, known informally as "EARS," is preparing for its first in-person meeting on 25th June at the East Ardsley Cricket Club.

The painting and redecorating have already been done and, as Paul told Newsline [quote] "We are ready to open for our first proper club meeting." [endquote]. If government restrictions are not lifted by that time, Paul said, the hams will meet outside the club shack instead for a bit of socialising. That's likely to be a lot easier than the Facebook messenger chat they've been using all this time.

Paul and Andi hope to be joined by fellow founders Bob 2E0RMW, David G1NYN, Marc 2E0VTN, Darren 2E0VBL and Mick M6MWP.

Paul told Newsline the long term goal is to cater to local hams at all levels of experience and open their doors to anyone wanting to try for a contact on HF, DMR, D-STAR, Fusion or someone perhaps wanting to learn Morse.

First, however, they simply look forward to opening their doors.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(PAUL DRIVER M0XZT)

**
DATA NETWORK GROUP CHALLENGES FCC BID TO TAKE SPECTRUM

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: An FCC move that would take an amateur emergency network off part of the 5 GHz band is getting some pushback. Andy Morrison K9AWM brings us up to date.

ANDY: The Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network has taken the next step in its challenge to an FCC order that would eliminate the network's access to the upper part of the 5 GHz band. The FCC intends to allocate those frequencies instead for intelligent transportation systems and for unlicensed use such as Wi-Fi.

On June 2nd, the network filed comments with the agency, reaffirming radio operators' critical need to retain use of the band between 5.895 GHz and 5.925 GHz. The AREDN's attorney filed the comments one month after submitting a petition asking the FCC to withdraw the order. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking dates to December 2019 when the FCC announced its intention to reassign the band's upper 30 megahertz.

The AREDN is a high speed data network supplying public safety agencies with digital communications support through its email, text and audio-video capabilities. It relays messages in emergencies such as forest fires and natural disasters and has also been used in public service events.

Meanwhile, the FCC is also seeking comment on its proposal to give additional spectrum to private space launch companies on the amateur radio frequencies between 420 and 430 MHz and 5.65 to 5.925 GHz. Hams have a secondary allocation on these frequencies on the 70cm and 5cm bands, respectively. The 70cm frequencies are widely used by hams for repeater links and amateur television and a portion of the 5 GHz spectrum is used by the AREDN.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Andy Morrison K9AWM.

(FCC, PAUL STRAUSS, WD6EBY)

**

MUSEUM SHIPS WEEKEND SAILS TO SUCCESS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The annual Museum Ships Weekend was a scaled-down event due to propagation and the pandemic but there was nothing scaled-down about its success. Kevin Trotman N5PRE tells us about it.

KEVIN: Having long since traded their military careers for roles as public museums, an international array of battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers, destroyers and cargo ships was determined to have fun in spite of challenging conditions. That's just what they did for 48 hours on June 5th and 6th. The annual Museum Ships Weekend got on the air with hams calling QRZ from the Netherlands to Australia all the way to Camden, New Jersey, home of the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station, the event's sponsors. Although pandemic precautions reduced the number of participating ships to 81, radio operators were busy nonetheless. Harry Bryant AA2WN, the club president, said preliminary results showed on the New Jersey ship alone, the 9 operators -- operating two at a time -- logged 554 HF contacts from 10 countries and 38 states. Using one of the ship's satellite antennas as an enclosure for a 2m/440 antenna array, the operators also were able to make contacts on VHF for the first time. Harry said that band conditions were less than optimal for this year's event but the hams made the best of 40, 30 and 20 meters operating as NJ2BB.

Harry said that despite the pandemic and propagation [quote] "We still had a fun and satisfying event. We are ever hopeful that normalcy will prevail next year with many more ships, operating hours, operators and better band conditions." [endquote]

These ships, after all, have seen greater challenges.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.

(HARRY BRYANT AA2WN)

**
HAMVENTION FORUM VIDEOS AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Hamvention—had it happened—would have lasted two to three days. You are now able to participate in two highlights of that weekend held virtually in May by spending a little more than eight hours on YouTube. Contest University, held May 20th, and many of the Hamvention Forums, held May 21st, are now available on YouTube. They include the CQ Contest Hall of Fame presentation by John K1AR; youth in contesting, presented by Phillip DK6SP, contesting from Russia by Willy UA9BA; "There is Nothing Magic about Propagation" by Jose CT1BOH, and a memorial reading of the Silent Keys.

(YOUTUBE)

**
FOUNDATION GRANT WILL HELP EUROPEAN HAMNET TO GROW

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A high-speed amateur network in Europe has just become the first international recipient of a grant from a California foundation. Ed Durrant DD5LP tells us about their plans.

ED: Amateur Radio Digital Communications, a private foundation based in California, has provided its first international grant to assist in expansion of the European HAMNET, a high-speed amateur radio multimedia network. The funding, which will go through the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club in Germany, will provide sponsored hardware for radio links to make use of the Amateur Packet Radio Network IP space in Europe.

With this grant, DARC becomes the first non-US organisation to be given an ARDC grant.

ARDC president Phil Karn KA9Q issued a statement saying that ARDC's goal has long been to give grants like this to qualifying non-profit organisations outside the US. DARC president Christian Entsfellner DL3MBG issued a statement adding [quote]: "We are highly excited that with this grant we can give the European HAMNET project a huge boost.” [endquote]

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.

(ARDC)

**
SILENT KEY: ARECIBO'S GORDON PETTENGILL W1OUN

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A noted educator, researcher and amateur radio operator who specialized in radar as a tool for space exploration has become a Silent Key. Here's Jim Damron N8TMW to tell us more.

JIM: Many on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and beyond are mourning the death of professor emeritus and radio astronomy pioneer Gordon Pettengill W1OUN. He had been director of the then-new Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico before stepping down in 1970. At MIT he became a professor of planetary physics and director of the MIT Center for Space Research. Gordon's work also involved repurposing military radar technology for science and space exploration. At MIT he also used the Lincoln Laboratory Millstone Hill radar to create the first two-dimensional radar map of the moon. The map was a critical component used by NASA in its plans for the Apollo moon landings that were to come later.

Gordon was an avid ham radio operator throughout his life, starting with his high school years. Gordon was a World War II veteran and after the war ended, he continued his involvement in communications through his assignment to the US Army's Signal Corps, stationed in Austria.

He died in May at the age of 95 of congestive heart failure.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jim Damron N8TMW.

(MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY)

**

WORLD OF DX

In the World of DX, be listening for Adrien, F4IHM, who is using the callsign 5UAIHM until June 27th from Niger. He is on 40m and 20m using CW and SSB. QSL to F4IHM, direct or by the Bureau.

Be listening for the callsign GB1ORC, a special event callsign of the Online Amateur Radio Community. OARC is marking the one-year anniversary of its founding as an online amateur radio club based in the UK. GB1ORC will be on the air until June 20th. The club will also use GB0ARC until June 24th.

In Scotland, listen for Paul, G4PVM, using the callsign GM4PVM from the Isle of Lismore (IOTA EU-008) between June 29th and July 4th. Paul will be on the air holiday style using 40m to 10m, both CW and SSB. Send QSLs via LoTW, eQSL or ClubLog for IOTA.

Listen for the special event callsign TM57COV between the 15th and 29th of June. A team of French amateur radio operators will be on the air to pay tribute to those who have died from COVID-19 or are currently struggling to recover. The station also pays tribute to the caregivers who are working with COVID cases. For QSL details visit the station's page on QRZ.com

(OHIO PENN DX, SOUTHGATE)

**
KICKER: TAKING MANY SMALL STEPS TO FOLLOW SOME BIG FEET

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: What is better than a rare DX? How about scoring a rare sighting right where you've set up your portable station? Mike Askins KE5CXP has that report for us.

MIKE: When the hams in the Bigfoot Radio Net go on a field expedition, as they did just a few weeks ago in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma, they're looking to log a big contact. You might say a big-footed contact. To some he's known as Bigfoot. To others, Sasquatch. On everything from weeklong special events to overnight solo investigations, Brent Boydston KF5THB has been on the hunt since 2016 for the legendary creature. No, Bigfoot doesn't have a callsign—at least not yet—but then this part of the hunt doesn't happen while they're on the air or cooking under the canopy of stars. Brent says that when not calling QRZ, he looks for the classic oversized muddy footprint or certain rock formations said to comprise his habitat.

Brent told Newsline that while in Oklahoma's Winding Stairs Mountains recently, he and his brother [quote] "looked for Bigfoot, we listened for Bigfoot and we smelled for Bigfoot." [endquote] The expeditions are the natural spinoff of the weekly Bigfoot Radio Net on Wednesdays at 2000 Central Time on 7.155 MHz. He said ham radio and Bigfoot go together because the ragchew topics are usually about someone's close encounters.

Quoting Brent: "Calling CQ means never knowing what you may find. Similarly, looking for a mythical creature in a vast wilderness means the same." [endquote] That turns every adventure into a sasq-WATCH.

Separate SATERN Nets Now Operational

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) launched a new SATERN International SSB Net on June 2 on 14.325 MHz. Net sessions will take place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11 AM Central Daylight Time, in cooperation with the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), which has used 14.325 MHz for many years during its own activations. Just down the band, another net sporting the same SATERN acronym — the Strategic Auxiliary Team Emergency Readiness Net — has established itself on SATERN’s former frequency of 14.265 MHz. The latter net was organized by Lee Glassman, WA5LEE, a former manager of the original SATERN. The Salvation Army made the distinction clear in its announcement launching the new SSB net on 20 meters.

“The new SATERN organization (Strategic Auxiliary Team Emergency Readiness Net) is not associated with The Salvation Army,” SATERN National Committee Chair Michele Heaver told ARRL. “At this time, SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) is no longer associated with Lee Glassman and does not support his new efforts with the Strategic Auxiliary Team Emergency Readiness Net. This is a breakaway organization.”

The SATERN split will entail a new “updated and revised SATERN website” in the near future, The Salvation Army (TSA) said in its announcement. The new SATERN under Glassman has established its own web presence. Heaver said the TSA SATERN will re-establish a web presence soon.

On his QRZ.com profile, Glassman, an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for South Texas District 14 Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), cites “a conflict of ideals.” Among other things, he said he was put off by a building list of requirements imposed by The Salvation Army that included credentialing and background checks.

Glassman told ARRL that the net retained the SATERN acronym because it was familiar to net users, plus the fact that TSA pretty much decided to dissolve the daily 20-meter net with no plans to replace it, and we did not wish the regulars to be kept hanging. We changed what the acronym stands for. We also have a pending trademark on the name and logo.”

Glassman said that if TSA had displayed any desire to continue the daily net, “we would have gladly backed off and let it continue under TSA.” He notes that SATERN began as an independent organization that was an adjunct to The Salvation Army.

“We do not disparage TSA, nor do we permit others to do so,” Glassman said. “We wholly encourage everyone to support TSA, ARES, ARC, and any other group that they wish.”

Glassman lists himself as co-manager of the Strategic Auxiliary Team Emergency Readiness Net, along with Ned Griffin, KL7QK. The net says its purpose is to provide backup communication support during disasters for those in need.

The “original” SATERN — the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network — is a fully integrated Salvation Army program within The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS). It was organized in 1988 by Major Patrick McPherson, WW9E (SK).

The Salvation Army said SATERN’s mission is providing effective emergency communications via amateur radio and other communication modes to provide a wide scope of assistance to disaster survivors during a disaster operation. “In carrying out its mission, SATERN recruits skilled volunteer radio amateurs who have been trained in disaster communications and other emergency disaster response practices,” TSA said in its announcement.

WSJT-X version 2.4.0 Now Generally Available, Version 2.5.0 on the Horizon

WSJT-X version 2.4.0 now is available in general release. According to co-developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, WSJT-X version 2.4.0 includes a new digital mode, Q65. This protocol is designed for two-way contacts over especially difficult propagation paths, including ionospheric scatter, troposcatter, rain scatter, TEP, EME, and other types of fast-fading signals.

“On paths with Doppler spread more than a few Hertz, the weak-signal performance of Q65 is the best among all WSJT-X modes,” the Quick Start Guide asserts.

WSJT-X version 2.5.0-rc1 (beta) version has been released. According to the Release Notes, in version 2.5.0 “the Q65 decoder has been enhanced to measure and compensate for linear frequency drift in Q65 signals.”

Q65 uses 65-tone frequency-shift keying and builds on the demonstrated weak-signal strengths of QRA64, a mode introduced to WSJT-X in 2016. Q65 offers user message and sequencing identical to that in FST4, FT4, FT8, and MSK144. It includes a unique tone for time and frequency synchronization. As with JT65, this “sync tone” is readily visible on the waterfall spectral display. In addition, Q65 provides a sensitive “sync curve” near the bottom of the waterfall window.

Testing showed that Q65 will enable stations with a modest Yagi and 100 W or more and to work one another on 6 meters at distances up to ~2000 kilometers on most days of the year, in dead band conditions.

“An excellent example of targeted uses of Q65 is ionospheric scatter on the 6-meter band,” the documentation states. “Extensive tests on the 1,150-kilometer path between K1JT and K9AN have shown that with 300 W power output, nearly every Q65-30A transmission is copied correctly by the other station.” The 30A refers to the transmit-receive period and spacing width.

For the complete announcement and to download the latest version, visit the WSJT-X website.

CHESS will not have an amateur payload

Two CHESS CubeSats had been planned to carry amateur radio linear transponders, however, it was announced on June 10 there will not be any amateur payload on the satellites  

A translation of the press release reads:

The CHESS project management, due to funding constraints, had to move the project towards a commercial cubesat platform. Space is scarce on this new platform to accommodate another payload. Subsequently, there is no longer an opportunity to carry a ham radio transponder on board.

The CHESS project management has correctly decided not to use frequencies in the amateur satellite service and to use earth exploration or experimental UHF- and X- band frequencies.

The ham community, who assured the funding of the transponder, is very disappointed by this decision, but must accept it.

Such projects always carry risks of one partner changing its mind. That is what happened here.

Many thanks to all who have actively supported the transponder project, especially the AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL team.

AMSAT-HB announcement
https://www.amsat-hb.org/2021/06/10/chess-fliegt-ohne-amateurfunknutzlast/

Solar storms more likely at solar cycle peaks

The 'New Scientist' magazine reports that researchers at the University of Reading in the UK have been investigating the extremes of space weather. Using statistical analysis of modelling and observational data they determined that rather than randomly occurring, big solar storms are more likely to occur around the peak in a solar cycle.

And strangely, the researchers' analysis also suggests these extreme solar events may be more likely during odd-numbered solar cycles. As we are now in Cycle 25 stay tuned for some rough space weather in a few years time…

 

THURSDAY EDITION: Well, the heat wave left overnight, what a relief it is...Report of what is the best waterproof smart watch.....Watch a fighter jet and drone make 'wet contact' for the first time ...Today's dumbass: Rep. Gohmert asks whether federal agencies can fix climate change by altering orbit of the Earth and moon ...Everything you need to know about the size of pig and cow brains.....

International Space Station to be in Cross-Band Repeater Mode for Field Day

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) cross-band repeater will be available for ARRL Field Day, June 26 – 27. Contacts will count toward Field Day bonus points as satellite contacts and Field Day contacts.

Field Day rules limit stations to one contact on any single-channel FM satellite. Note that contacts made during Field Day by ISS crew would only count for contact credit, but not for satellite bonus points. ISS cross-band repeater contacts are also valid AMSAT Field Day satellite contacts.

The ARISS cross-band repeater uplink is 145.990 MHz (67 Hz tone), with a downlink of 437.800 MHz.

ARISS suggests that those unfamiliar with the ISS repeater may want to practice with it prior to Field Day. ARISS had planned to switch modes to the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) during the second week of June, but this won’t happen until after the first ARISS school contact following ARRL Field Day.

The ARISS ham station will be off-air during spacewalks on June 16 and June 20. -- Thanks to ARISS

30 Years of Independence Award

The Slovenian Amateur Radio Union will celebrate the country's 30 years of Independence by issuing a special award. It will be eligible to all amateur radio enthusiasts all over the World.

For this event only, starting June 26, 00:00 UTC and until December 31 2021, 23:59 UTC, the Slovenian amateur radio stations can use special call signs. Those will add the number '30' into the suffix. For example: S50ZZ will be S5030ZZ, S51A will be S5130A, S57XXX will be S5730XXX etc.

In order to obtain the award a foreign amateur radio station must have at least 30 contacts with an S5 stations (regular and special call signs apply), out of which 10 or more with special prefixes ('30'). The use of any band/mode counts for the award.

Send the log - list of contacts (date, time, call, band and mode) to the following e-mail address: scc@hamradio.si. The same email also applies for any possible questions.

The award will be issued in electronic form and will be downloadable as a PDF file from the website of Slovenia Contest Club

K6K to celebrate Kamehameha Day June 11

Hawaii's Tribune-Herald reports radio amateurs will be operating special event station K6K on June 11 to celebrate Kamehameha Day

Kamehameha Day on June 11 is a public holiday in Hawaii. It honors Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

Ham radio operator Lloyd Cabral sits in the station he built inside his Hawaiian Paradise Park home, headphones on and finger moving on a CW, or continuous wave paddle, tapping out a message in Morse code.

On other end is an operator more than 2,400 miles away on a beach in Coos Bay, Ore.

Cabral’s station will join other amateur radio operators in Hawaii for a special Kamehameha Day celebration on June 11.

A special event call sign, K6K, will be on the air from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

“But it’s not a contest,” Cabral said. “It’s an operating event, so on our side, there’s no pressure, there’s no stress.”

Read the full Tribune-Herald story at

Radio hams get ready for Field Day event

Broadcaster WBIW reports radio amateurs will be participating in Field Day weekend on June 26-27

They say: Ham radio operators from the Hoosier Hills Ham Club in Lawrence County will be participating in a national amateur radio exercise from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday June 26, at their club facility located at 1508 Rariden Hill Road, in Mitchell.

The event is ARRL Field Day (www.arrl.org/FieldDay), an annual amateur radio activity organized since 1933 by ARRL, the national association for amateur radio in the United States.

Those with an interest in amateur radio are invited to attend to see the radio operators in action during the event.

Hams from across North America ordinarily participate in Field Day by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations to demonstrate their skill and service. Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, bring people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities

Field Day highlights ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent, wireless communications network.

Some hams from the area will also use the radio stations set up in their homes or taken to their backyards and other locations to operate individually or with their families. Many hams have portable radio communication capability that includes alternative energy sources such as generators, solar panels, and batteries to power their equipment.

During Field Day 2020, more than 18,000 hams participated from thousands of locations across North America. According to ARRL, there are more than 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the US and an estimated 3 million worldwide.

Source http://www.wbiw.com/2021/06/08/ham-radio-operators-on-the-air-for-nationwide-field-day-event-june-26/

WEDNESDAY EDITION: YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Summer vacation is here for some schools across the Valley, and one school has started a camp that will help its students listen to radio signals from across the planet.  ....Alaska Airlines is using artificial intelligence to craft flight plans that save fuel—and time ....Should you be worried about privacy with Amazon Sidewalk? Yes and no.

RS0ISS Will Transmit Slow-Scan TV Images from the ISS on June 9 - 10

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) plan to transmit slow-scan TV (SSTV) images on 145.800 MHz FM June 9 – 10. The transmissions, which will use SSTV mode PD120, are part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75) and will be made from RS0ISS in the Russian Service Module of the ISS using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver.

The tentative schedule calls for transmissions on June 9 from 0935 UTC until 1350 UTC and on June 10 from 0855 UTC until 1550 UTC. Dates and times are subject to change. Hams on Earth should be able to receive the signals on a handheld transceiver using a quarter-wave whip antenna, with FM filters set for 25 kHz channel spacing.

Predicted ISS pass times are available via the AMSAT website. Additional information is available on the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) SSTV blog and tips for SSTV beginners are available on AMSAT-UK. 

Canadian researchers concern about overcrowded orbits.....no kidding?

A new report by two Canadian researchers is highlighting the growing hazard of space debris. It warns that the new mega-constellations of tens of thousands of communication satellites could pose a new kind of danger that could ultimately threaten other satellites, astronauts, our ability to use space and could even have an impact on the climate.

Recently, that uncontrolled fall from space of a large Chinese rocket booster gained worldwide attention as no one could predict where it would come crashing to Earth. Fortunately, it came down in the Indian Ocean and no one was injured.

That was just one booster.

But the amount of stuff satellites, discarded boosters and other debris in Earth orbit is huge. And this new report warns that with projects like the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation, the issue of space debris could approach a critical turning point.

TUESDAY EDITION:  Another warm day, keep them coming...Amateur radio event takes place aboard USS Lexington ...Robots building shelters on MARS....Only in West Virginia would they fire up a flamethrower for a vets cookout....70% here on the island are vaccinated and no active cases here in town....

If you ever owned a bulldog, you would know this is a true story....

ISS repeater remaining on until after Field Day

The International Space Station crossband FM repeater should remain active until after the Field Day weekend of June 26-27

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has decided to keep its ARISS InterOperable Radio System (IORS) in crossband repeater mode until after ARRL Field Day ends. The IORS ham station is located in the Columbus Module of the International Space Station.

ARRL HQ Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, has confirmed that successful radio contacts made through the ARISS IORS, in crossband repeater mode, will count for an ARRL Field Day QSO point, but also for Field Day bonus points! Another fun opportunity for points. Don’t forget the rule limiting stations to 1 QSO per any single channel FM satellite.

On-orbit astronauts always have very busy schedules, but if a voice contact were to be made with them, it would count for QSO credit but not for satellite bonus points. Only an ARISS crossband repeater QSO qualifies for the bonus. Crossband repeater contacts are also valid for AMSAT Field Day for satellite operations, held concurrently with the ARRL event.  

Frequencies for ARISS crossband repeater operation are as follows: 145.990 MHz up, 67 Hz tone and 437.800 MHz down. If you haven’t used the ISS repeater yet, be sure to practice with it before Field Day (June 26-27, 2021). These contacts can be tricky, but hams can practice right now…can you do it?

ARISS had planned a mode switch to APRS packet during the second week of June. Now, ARISS is targeting the switch by the astronauts to packet after the first ARISS school contact following ARRL Field Day. In more news for ARISS supporters: the astronauts will power down the ARISS radio station during USA spacewalks on June 16 and June 20, 2021.

Aluminium-Ion battery development

The Graphene Manufacturing Group in Brisbane, Australia together with the University of Queensland have according to the GMG website developed a Graphene Aluminium-Ion Battery energy storage technology that has up to three times the capacity of a lithium-ion battery and can charge up to sixty times faster.

The battery was created by inserting aluminium atoms into perforations made in graphene planes.
The company claims that because the batteries lack an upper Ampere limit that would otherwise cause spontaneous overheating, the batteries are also safer. The stable base materials also facilitate their recycling later.

The company hopes to bring these cells to market by the end of 2021 or early 2022

https://graphenemg.com/

5P2UEFA special event station

Denmark is taking part in the European Football Championship and a special event station will be on the air between the 11th of June and the 11th of July.

5P2UEFA/xx will be active on all HF bands with CW, SSB and digimodes. The extended suffix/xx will consist of a double-digit number and will be used in connection with the application for a diploma.

European Stations need 12 contacts for the gold award, 8 for silver and 5 for bronze.

You can find out all about QSL cards and the diploma on QRZ.com under the callsign 5P2UEFA.

Kyrgyzstan latest to arrive on 60 m/5 MHz

The Union of Radio Amateurs of Kyrgyz Republic (ARUKR) announced that on 4th June 2021, the Kyrgyzstan Telecommunications Regulator made the new WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz available to Kyrgyz hams at a maximum power of 100W.

Other Secondary allocations made available at the same time were 472 – 479 kHz at 1W, 122.25 – 123 GHz and 134 – 141 GHz both at 100W.

Sunrise solar eclipse

Dawn doesn't break like this every day. On Thursday morning, June 10th, a crescent-shaped sun will emerge from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean visible from parts of the northeastern USA and Canada. It's a sunrise solar eclipse.

Get the full story + observing tips @ Spaceweather.com.

MONDAY EDITION: COVID-19 turnabout—pandemic in Japan unexpectedly revives, instead of exterminates, a dying art ...The coolest science-themed destinations in all 50 states .....Meet the Rimac Nevera, the 1,914-horsepower hypercar named after a Mediterranean storm and destined to demolish speed records around the world......

Setting up the IC-7300 for FT8

In this video Hayden VK7HH shows how to setup the IC-7300 for the WSJT digital modes FT8 and FT4

YouTube Description:
Got a Icom IC-7300 you want to use on digital? I will show you exactly how to setup your Icom IC-7300 for use with WSJT-X and other digital modes such as FT8. These are my settings on my radio that work perfectly for WSJT-X.

Timestamps
0:00 Icom IC-7300 SETUP for WSJT/Digital Modes
1:26 Settings in the IC-7300 that need changing
4:29 Switching between SSB and DATA modes
5:15 Configuring WSJT-X for use with the IC-7300
7:43 Adjusting audio level in WSJT-X tips

Watch Icom IC-7300 SETUP for WSJT/FT8 Digital Modes (Easy and Simple)

TIP: Don't park on the drain grate....

ARISS SSTV transmissions

MAI-75 will be conducting their experiment of transmitting SSTV images from the International Space Station over specific orbits that overfly Moscow on June 9 and 10.

Amateurs along the ground track of these orbits should have the opportunity to receive these images as well. Modes and targeted transmission periods are listed below.

SSTV images will be transmitted at 145.800 MHz using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver. They are expected to use the PD-120 SSTV format.

Wed 2021-06-09: 09:35 to 13:50 UTC
Thu 2021-06-10: 08:55 to 15:50 UTC

For more information on ARISS SSTV, please visit:
https://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/

About ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation(AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For further information, please see www.ariss.org.

WEEKEND EDITION: I guess we have 90 degree weather for days ahead. Wee usually 10 degrees cooler here on the ocean, we will see.....Elon Musk Alert: Brazil really Sent Bitcoin (BTC) By Radio Waves to the Moon ....

Foundations of Amateur Radio

What radio should I buy as my first one?

Recently a budding new amateur asked the question: 'What radio should I buy?'

It's a common question, one I asked a decade ago. Over the years I've made several attempts at answering this innocent introduction into our community and as I've said before, the answer is simple but unhelpful.

"It depends."

Rather than explaining the various things it depends on, I'm going to attempt a different approach and in no particular order ask you some things to consider and answer for yourself in your journey towards an answer that is tailored specifically to your situation.

"What's your budget?"

How much money you have set aside for this experiment is a great start. In addition to training and license costs, you'll need to consider things like shipping, import duties and insurance, power leads and a power supply, coax leads and connectors and last but not least, adaptors, antennas and accessories.

"Should you buy second hand or pre-loved?"

If you have electronics experience that you can use to fix a problem with your new to you toy this is absolutely an option. When you're looking around, check the provenance associated with the equipment and avoid something randomly offered online with sketchy photos and limited information. Equipment is expensive. Check for stolen gear and unscrupulous sellers.

"What do you want to do?"

This hobby is vast. You can experiment with activities, locations, modes and propagation to name a few. If you're looking at a specific project, consider the needs for the accompanying equipment like a computer if what you want to explore requires that. You can look for the annual Amateur Radio Survey by Dustin N8RMA to read what others are doing.

"What frequencies do you want to play on?"

If you have lots of outdoor space you'll have many options to build antennas from anything that radiates, but if you're subject to restrictions because of where you live, you'll need to take those into account. You can also operate portable, in a car or on a hill, so you have plenty of options to get away from needing a station at home.

"Are there other amateurs around you?"

If you're within line of sight of other amateurs or a local repeater, then you should consider if you can start there. If that doesn't work, consider using HF or explore space communications. There are online tools to discover repeaters and local amateurs.

"Is there a club you can connect to?"

Amateur radio clubs are scattered far and wide across the planet and it's likely that there's one not too far from you. That said, there are plenty of clubs that interact with their members remotely. Some even offer remote access to the club radio shack using the internet.

"Have you looked for communities to connect with?"

There is plenty of amateur activity across the spectrum of social media, dedicated sites, discussion groups, email lists and chat groups. You can listen to podcasts, watch videos, read eBooks and if all that fails, your local library will have books about the fundamental aspects of our hobby.

"Have you considered what you can do before spending money?"

Figuring out the answers to many of these questions requires that you are somewhat familiar with your own needs. You need a radio to become an amateur, but you need to be an amateur to choose a radio. To get started, you don't need a radio. If you already have a license you can use tools like Echolink with a computer or a mobile phone. If you don't yet have a license, you can listen to online services like WebSDR, KiwiSDR and plenty of others. You can start receiving using a cheap RTL-SDR dongle and some wire.

"Which brand should you get?"

Rob NC0B has been testing radios for longer than I've been an amateur. His Sherwood testing table contains test results for 151 devices. The top three, Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu count for more than half of those results. This means that you'll likely find more information, more support and more local familiarity with those three. I will point out that Rob's list has 27 different brands on it, so look around and read reviews both by people who test the gear and those who use it.

And finally, "Why are you here?"

It's a serious question. Different things draw different people into this community. Think about what you like about it and what you want to do more of. Take those things into consideration when you select your radio.

As you explore the answers to these questions, you'll start building a picture of what amateur radio means to you and with that will come the answer to the question: "What radio should I buy as my first one?"

If there are other questions you'd like to ask, don't hesitate to get in touch. My address is cq@vk6flab.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

ISS SSTV 145.800 FM June 9-10

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are planning to transmit Slow Scan TV images on 145.800 MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD-120.

The transmissions are part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75) and will be made from the amateur radio station RS0ISS in the Russian Service module of the ISS using a Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver.  

June 09, 2021 (Wednesday) from 09:35 GMT until 13:50 GMT*
June 10, 2021 (Thursday) from 08:55 GMT until 15:50 GMT*

*Dates and times subject to change.
The signal should be receivable on a handheld with a 1/4 wave whip. If your rig has selectable FM filters try the wider filter for 25 kHz channel spacing.
You can get predictions for the ISS pa

EURAO Party - Summer 2021:
CB QSL Party....your kidding?

The European Radio Amateurs' Organization, supporting the initiative of its member association Federación Digital EA, announces a new party on the air, this time with the motto: "CB QSL Party".

Remember this is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple 'rules', better to call them recommendations.

The party will be held for three months, from June 1st to September 30th, 2021, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

Read more. https://www.eurao.org/en/node/1195

Amateur Radio Operator and Prolific Author Don Keith N4KC Publishes 36th and 37th Books  

 Active amateur radio operator Don Keith, N4KC has released his 36th and 37th published books, one fiction and the other non-fiction. Warshot, the sixth book in The Hunter Killer Series of submarine/Navy SEAL thrillers, was co-written by Keith and former submarine skipper George Wallace. The title book in the series, Hunter Killer, was the basis for the major motion picture of the same name, starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman. Warshot is published by Severn River Publishing.   Keith’s latest non-fiction work is Only the Brave, which tells the story of the World War II battle for Guam, in the Marianna Islands. While it was a key conflict in the Pacific Theater, few are aware of the scope of the battle or its effect on the natives of the island, the Chamorros. Only the Brave is published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin/Random House. Both books are available in all formats wherever books are sold.   Keith holds the Amateur Extra license and is a member of the ARRL. He has also published four books about amateur radio. For more on all of N4KC’s books, visit www.donkeith.com or www.n4kc.com.  

Amateur Radio Newsline Report


ISS GETTING FIRST EUROPEAN WOMAN COMMANDER

PAUL/ANCHOR: Italy's first female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF, has also become the first European woman chosen to command the International Space Station. The European Space Agency announced the former fighter pilot's selection on Friday, May 28th. She is to launch in 2022 with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren KO5MOS [Kay Oh 5 EM Oh Ess] and Bob Hines aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. This will be her second stay on board the ISS where she will become the fifth ESA astronaut to serve as its commander.

(BRUSSELS TIMES, EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY)

**'

AMATEURS IN INDIA HELP COORDINATE CREMATORY LOGISTICS

PAUL/ANCHOR: Hams in India have taken up a grim but important responsibility as people throughout that nation continue to count the deaths from COVID-19. Jason Daniels VK2LAW has that report.

JASON: In India, where crematoriums and graveyards are pushed beyond capacity to keep pace with the surges in death from COVID-19, amateur radio operators have stepped up to help provide some coordination amidst the chaos.

The Indian Institute of Hams has created a communications network connecting 16 crematoriums, according to a news report in the Bangalore Mirror. More than 30 hams have been working around the clock to ensure proper and dignified handling of cremations as a reassurance to families, the report said. The institute's director, S. Sathyapal VU2FI said, hams who are particularly experienced in crisis management have been visiting crematoriums at random, gathering details about any problems that have arisen.

S. Sathyapal told the Banglore Mirror: [quote] "Any disturbances reported at the crematoriums will be brought to the notice of officials and we will alert the task force to inspect them immediately. Our aim is to see that a dignified farewell is given to the deceased without any hassles." [endquote]

The hams' efforts are part of a greater nationwide network of volunteer response from individuals and nongovernmental organisations attempting to help funeral professionals at crematoriums and burial grounds.

A report in the New York Times said that an average of 217,638 COVID-19 cases per day were reported in India in the last week, although some reports indicate the numbers of cases and deaths has begun to decline in recent days.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

(BANGALORE MIRROR, NYTIMES)

**

FCC MAY CONSIDER NEW LOW-POWER FM LICENSES

PAUL/ANCHOR: Make room on the bands - maybe - for some new low-power FM stations. The US Federal Communications Commission is considering rule changes that would pave the way for approval of new low-power FM licenses. Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the matter is on the agenda at the commission's June 17th meeting. The move follows actions the commission took last year to modify engineering rules for low-power FM stations.

(FCC, RADIOWORLD)

**

SILENT KEY: AMSAT's ANDY MAC ALLISTER, W5ACM

PAUL/ANCHOR: A longtime friend of AMSAT and a noted satellite enthusiast has become a Silent Key. Kevin Trotman N5PRE tells us about him.

KEVIN: The ham described by some as the Voice of the Houston AMSAT Net and the King of the South Texas Balloon Launch Team has become a Silent Key. Andy MacAllister W5ACM died on Wednesday, May 19th at his home in Texas. Andy, who became a licensed amateur radio operator in high school, was a former member of the AMSAT Board of Directors and had been a liaison for SAREX, that allowed students to speak to astronauts onboard the Shuttle spacecraft.

Andy's many jobs included working as a chief operator and technician at KTRU, the student-run radio station at Rice University in Houston. According to his online obituary he also worked for two years for Lockheed at NASA, designing space shuttle simulators and was in charge of technical manuals and certifications for more than 20 years at Daniel Measurement and Control. Andy was also known as one of the columnists at 73 magazine, where he wrote about amateur radio satellites.

Andy was 68.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.

(AMSAT, BERESFORD FUNERAL SERVICE)

**
ACTIVATION TO BENEFIT NY STATE'S BANNERMAN ISLAND

PAUL/ANCHOR: Now here's an island activation with a dual purpose: Successful radio contacts get a certificate—and the island itself gets hoped-for funding to help restore its use as a park. As Dave Parks WB8ODF tells us, it's going on in New York State's Hudson Valley region.

DAVE: The chance to activate a castle or an island has always ignited the imaginations of many hams—but the activations taking place near Bannerman Castle on New York's Bannerman Island on Saturday, June 12th have less to do with imagination and more to do with a real-life goal. Radio operators who are part of the Hudson Valley Digital Network are hoping to make contact worldwide from locations along the Hudson River to bring attention to the need to restore Bannerman Island and its buildings for visitors' safe use as a public park. Bannerman Island is not part of the Islands on Air awards program: It belongs to the New York State Park system and is one of six islands in the Hudson River. Eight amateur radio stations will be on the air between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time—one of them from the island itself, using the callsign N2B. The stations are activating under the sponsorship of the Hudson Valley Radio Relay. Operators logging these stations will receive a commemorative certificate and information on how to contribute to the fundraising campaign to help the nonprofit Bannerman Castle Trust restore the historic island. So be listening for N2B along with stations operating nearby: N2H, N2U, N2D, N2S, N2O, N2N and N2V. They will be using various modes, including CW, SSB and the digital modes.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Dave Parks WB8ODF.

(EAST GREENBUSH AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION, HUDSON VALLEY DIGITAL NETWORK BLOG)

**
GERMAN AUTHORITIES CLAMP DOWN ON SOLAR PANEL COMPANY

PAUL/ANCHOR: We all struggle with RF interference and so much of it is preventable. In Germany, authorities are taking steps to ensure some of that RFI doesn't come from certain solar panels. Ed Durrant DD5LP gives us those details.

ED: The manufacturer of a solar panel optimiser has been restricted from doing business in the German market because of concerns over RF interference. The German regulator, BNetzA, has said that it has taken the action against SolarEdge because some of its optimisers cause levels of RF pollution that do not comply with directives set by the EU. The company, which has offices around the world, describes itself as a leading manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters for solar power systems.

According to a translation from VERON, the largest amateur radio association in The Netherlands, SolarEdge's representative in Germany has four weeks to correct the problem before the regulator prohibits the products' national sale altogether. According to reports, the restriction applies only to Germany, despite the RF-pollution directive setting an EU-wide standard. The company's website did not contain a statement responding to the German regulator's actions.

SolarEdge's optimiser is not the only product by any manufacturer that the German regulator has noted as being out of compliance. Recent study results published by BNetZa have shown that 75 percent of solar panel installations and 25 percent of LED lights studied failed to meet EU standards.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP

(SOUTHGATE, VERON)

**
HAMSCI SEEKING AMATEUR INPUT DURING 'ECLIPSE FESTIVAL'

PAUL/ANCHOR: The citizen scientist organization HamSCI is looking for amateur input worldwide during its "eclipse festival" this month. Jack Parker W8ISH tells us how to get involved.

JACK: Hams and shortwave listeners around the world have been invited to the latest solar eclipse festival being held by HamSCI to gather data using their HF radios and a computer running open-source software. Radio operators are being being asked to record time-standard stations during the annular solar eclipse across the Arctic Circle, in an experiment that runs from the 7th to the 12th of June. The annular phase of the eclipse will be visible from parts of northern Canada, Russia and Greenland; a partial eclipse is likely to be visible, weather permitting, in Europe, northern Asia and the United States. The crowd-sourced data from citizen scientists will help researchers study the superimposed effects of auroral particle precipitation and the eclipse on HF Doppler shift. Radio operators around the world are invited to sign up and take part. All participants will receive QSL certificates as well as the findings of the data's analysis. The primary beacon for the experiment will be the Russian time standard station RWM on 9.996 MHz. If your radio cannot receive this frequency, try 10 MHz WWV or another station listed on the HamSCI website.

Instructions on how to participate in this festival of frequency measurement can be found at hamsci dot org. (hamsci.org)

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jack Parker W8ISH.

(HAMSCI)

**
TURKEY'S NEW COMMUNICATIONS TOWER CALLED EUROPE'S TALLEST

PAUL/ANCHOR: As so many hams know, a soaring new tower isn't always the most welcome sight in some neighborhoods. Of course, if the neighborhood happens to be the largest city in Turkey, that's a different story. Jim Meachen ZL2BHF tells us why.

JIM: The Çamlıca [pronounced: CHAM-LEE-CHA] TV-Radio Tower in Istanbul stands 369 meters tall, or 1,210 feet tall, a futuristic, state-of-the-art structure being heralded as the tallest telecommunications tower in Europe. At its inauguration in late May, Turkish President Erdoğan [pronounced: AIR-DOO-WAN], praised the high-tech structure for its ability to carry 100 FM broadcasts simultaneously, noting that it replaces numerous outdated facilities that had previously stood on the same hill. The mass of older towers had long been criticized as marring the city's skyline and posing health risks for city residents. Construction began on the new tower in 2016 in the hopes it would also be a magnet for tourism in the city. The tower is located on the Asian side of the city and its highest point is more than 580 meters, or 1,900 feet, above sea level.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

(HURRIYET DAILY NEWS, DAILY SABAH)

**
IRISH AMATEURS ASKED TO CHECK IN AT WISCONSIN FESTIVAL

PAUL/ANCHOR: An invitation has been extended to hams in Ireland to attend an Irish festival in Wisconsin—via radio—and the guests' replies are starting to come in. Jeremy Boot G4NJH brings us up to date.

JEREMY: The popular Irishfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin is making a comeback this August and this year the festival will be bringing Ireland to Wisconsin in a new way: The Riverland Amateur Radio Club W9UP has invited a number of Irish amateur radio clubs to join in the activity on the Mississippi Riverfront. Irishfest trustee Shawn Hicks KD9KGQ, a board member of the Riverland club, told Newsline he has already gotten a positive response from the Shannon Basin Radio Club and the East Leinster Amateur Radio Club. He said while Irish music, games and storytelling will be part of the usual attractions, festival attendees will also get an opportunity to hear from hams in Ireland and experience amateur radio.

In his invitation sent to various ham clubs based in Ireland, Shawn wrote: [quote] "Our radio club members will be more than eager to make DX contacts in Ireland but we would like for our hams to partner with a fest attendee and give them an opportunity to chat with you. This would give them a chance to learn a little bit about the region in Ireland you live in and a chance for you to learn about us as well." [endquote] The club will be on the air at the festival on August 14th from 1600 to 2200 UTC on 14.260 MHz and will also conduct QSOs with the hams in Ireland via Yaesu Fusion Wires X Room 63956. Shawn said if clubs want to meet in a different Wires X room that will be possible too.

Hams in Ireland may contact Shawn at e i s t i m 6 8 at gmail dot com (eistim68@mail.com)

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(SHAWN HICKS KD9KGQ)

**

HAWAIIAN AMATEURS CELEBRATE ISLANDS' 19th CENTURY KING

ANCHOR: A special event station is about to get under way in Hawaii, marking the legacy of a beloved monarch. John Williams VK4JJW explains.

JOHN: The 19th century Hawaiian king, Kamehameha, who is celebrated for having united the islands of Hawaii in 1810, would no doubt appreciate the spirit of the day on Friday June 11th. On that day, amateur radio operators will be working in unison as special event station K6K, honoring the leader, warrior, businessman and diplomat whose vision for the islands kept Western explorers from encroaching on their territories.

As envisioned by Michael Miller KH6ML, the special event station will carry the king's story around the world as operators on the various islands make as many contacts as possible. This is not a contest and there are no paper QSL cards. However, downloadable certificates will be available. For more details visit the QRZ page of K6K.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm John Williams VK4JJW.

**

RSGB TO EXPAND NEWS-READER TEAM

PAUL/ANCHOR: The Radio Society of Great Britain wants new team members on its news service to read reports from around the UK and the world for local hams. Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us how to get involved.

JEREMY: One of the latest news items from the Radio Society of Great Britain is about ham radio news itself: The Society is looking for amateurs who would like to join their team of news readers, sharing updates on events, solar forecasts and issues of concern to hams throughout the UK and around the world. A new video on the Society's website and on their YouTube channel explains the news readers' roles with the GB2RS news service. The Society currently has more than 100 news readers delivering transmissions every week on Sunday—a tradition that began in September of 1955.

The news reports are heard on HF, analogue and digital VHF AND UHF repeaters as well as through amateur TV transmissions. Reports are also transmitted via the QO-100 satellite. Hams with online access can hear the reports via podcasts and video presentations.

For more details, or to watch the video, follow the link in this week's printed script of this newscast at arnewsline.org.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

[FOR PRINT ONLY, DO NOT READ: rsgb.org/gb2rs-manager]

(RSGB)

**
FOX MIKE HOTEL CHALLENGE

Wherever you are in the world, get ready for the return of the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Ops Challenge coming September4th and 5th. The contest is designed to create equal operating conditions between portable and fixed stations. For details visit foxmikehotel dot com.


(OHIO PENN DX)

**
KICKER: RADIO'S BLASTS, NOT NECESSARILY FROM THE PAST

PAUL/ANCHOR: Finally, we ask: Do you love solving a good mystery? Scientists think they may be getting ready to do just that. They're hot on the trail of some mysterious—and intensely fast—radio signals. Here's Neil Rapp WB9VPG with the details.

NEIL: Fast radio bursts: No, that's not the enviable signal report you dream of getting from that rare DX somewhere in the Antarctic. These are the formerly mysterious deep space signals astronomers have been tracking using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Notice we said "formerly" mysterious. For years scientists have scratched their heads over the source of these 1,000 or so powerful blasts, which began showing up in 2001. They are, however, so fast that they're here and then....they're not. According to a report in CBS News, scientists have traced only 15 of them and they apparently came from distant galaxies. New findings about to be published in The Astrophysical Journal, track five of the most recent radio blasts to the so-called "spiral arms" of the galaxies, the places where stars form - but not from ' young stars exploding and dying. Rather, the blasts' origins appear to be from neutron stars, young magnetars that have powerful magnetic fields. While this doesn't completely solve the mystery, it does narrow things down quite a bit and that's no small task. This is the kind of power we hams can only envy: in the one-thousandth of a second it takes these flares to erupt, they create as much energy as the sun does in a year.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

(CBS)

FRIDAY EDITION: The K7RA Solar Update ....Today's Dumbass Award goes to.....Congrats to Pelosi's most expensive gas station....

Interactive LightCube Satellite Set to Launch in Late 2022

NASA has selected LightCube along with 13 other small research satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets launching between 2022 and 2025. The launch opportunity is provided through NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). Being designed, built, and tested by an interdisciplinary team of students, advisors, and engineers across multiple organizations, LightCube is a microsatellite educational mission that aims to produce a light visible to the naked eye on Earth. The spacecraft’s two xenon flashtubes will be triggered via amateur radio.

When the light beacon is activated, the 1U CubeSat will be visible momentarily — each flash will last just 8 microseconds — from the ground, with a brightness similar to the International Space Station. Following ISS deployment, LightCube will orbit Earth for approximately 2 years before safely deorbiting.

The LightCube mission is a collaborative project between Arizona State University's Interplanetary Initiative, the ASU Fulton Schools of Engineering, Vega Space Systems, and CETYS Universidad. ASU designed and built the satellite.

Here’s how it will work: A radio amateur with a hand-held transceiver will wait until the satellite is roughly overhead, as determined by a smartphone or computer app. The user will transmit a predefined number code, and if LightCube is charged, it will flash. The satellite then requires 30 seconds to recharge the capacitor that fires the xenon light tubes. At this point, no frequencies have been coordinated for LightCube.

The idea itself is not novel. As the LightCube sponsors note, Fitsat in 2013 used high-power LEDs to transmit Morse code. Equisat in 2016 could produce a beacon visible to the naked eye.

June GEO Newsletter available for free download

The June PDF of the GEO Newsletter weather satellite publication produced by the Group for Earth Observation is now available for free download

The Group for Earth Observation's aim is to enable amateur reception of weather and earth imaging satellites that are in orbit or planned for launch in the near future.

Membership of GEO is free.

This edition includes:
• Suez Canal Traffic Jam seen from Space
• Eruption at Mount Etna
• Preparing for Rising Seas in the Maldives
• Currently Actvive Weather Satellites and Frequencies

Download the GEO Newsletter from
http://leshamilton.co.uk/GEO/newsletter.htm

Previous newsletters are at
http://leshamilton.co.uk/GEO/archive.htm

USI Special Event Week

The purpose of the US Islands (USI) Special Event week, June 12-20, 2021, is to promote friendship among all Amateur radio operators who enjoy getting outdoors to operating portable or mobile.But it’s not the only way for you to take part in this event.

Everyone can participate in this 9-day, 201-hour event and never leave your shack by being an island chaser to earn an award certificate.

Contacts and opportunity are endless by working new states, working new grid squares, working new US islands or new parks. This event is for anyone who loves new accomplishments in this great hobby.

See here: https://usislands.org/usi-special-event-week/

SAQ Grimeton Transmission on July 4th

The annual transmission event on the Alexanderson Day with the Alexanderson Alternator from 1924, on VLF 17.2 kHz CW with the call sign SAQ, is scheduled for Sunday, July 4th, 2021.

The Alexander Grimeton Association are planning to carry out two broadcasts to the world from the old Alexanderson alternator SAQ. Only required staff will be in place, due to the ongoing pandemic.

Transmission schedule:
Startup and tuning at 10:30 CET (08:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 11:00 CET (09:00 UTC)
Startup and tuning at 13:30 CET (11:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 14:00 CET (12:00 UTC)

Live Video from World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station
Both transmission events can be seen live on our YouTube Channel.
The live video starts 5 minutes before the startup and tuning.
https://mailchi.mp/aff85163e64f/alexanderson-day-2021?e=2c0cbe870f

THURSDAY EDITION: Good morning hamsters, another pretty day here on the rock....Not too much news to report but I will update as I find things...Our government decides to piss away another 500 million per flight to investigate Venus....Microsoft is planning to detail its “next generation of Windows” at an event later this month. The software giant has started sending invites to media for a Windows event on June 24th.

New store: Welcome to Ham Radio Outlet Sacramento!

CW Field Day

IRTS CW Field Day takes place this weekend the 5th and 6th of June. This contest is for portable stations and is on the CW contest preferred segments of the contest bands from Top Band to 10 metres. It runs for 24 hours from 1500 UTC on Saturday 5th June and there is a 24 hour section and a restricted 6 hour section.

The first weekend in June is when a number of IARU Region 1 societies would normally run CW Field Day contests and has always been a good opportunity for European CW operators test their skills in a portable environment. The covid pandemic has affected field day and other contests over the past year and no IRTS field day events were held in 2020. Following improvements in the public health situation in recent months, we decided to proceed with our field day events this year, subject to restrictions and precautions that have been inserted into the contest rules.

We note that DARC, the German national society, has decided to cancel its CW Field Day this year; while it acknowledges the improved health situation, it is concerned that regulations or restrictions may not be uniform throughout the country. The RSGB CW Field Day contest is going ahead, so we can expect plenty of activity from UK portable stations.

Towers...

Created by James 'Jimmie' R Hilit, II, N8NSN

Have you been considering placing a tower on your property for your antenna(s)?

There are a good number of things to be considered before a "good decision" can be made on what to raise into the air, and where to place it. The first question would be; what will be sufficient and more importantly safe, as an antenna support, to meet the needs for your system? Study the structural requirements for the antenna(s) going up (weight, wind load, turning radius etc.). Study the structural integrity of various support towers. Knowing the perimeters of your apparatus should always be the primary consideration. The investment of acquiring knowledge and the implementations of safety standards are paramount.

Many are intimidated by the "cost" involved in putting up a tower. The tower placement event does not necessarily need to be one that requires a great deal of money. There are means to have an economical tower. As well, there are ways to accomplish an economical tower installation safely. Again, it all hinges on what would SAFELY get the job done. Safety is the key word and is, ALWAYS, the most important consideration. You may not need 65G Rohn (my dream tower stock) to install a 2 element quad for 20 meters through 10 meters. Then again, in your particular situation that may be the required method to "keep the antenna in the air" SAFELY.

Perhaps you are a ham operator without the need for a very high tower. Maybe the system being thought of is not a multiple antenna array, which would increase wind load and tower twist factors encountered. You may find that a "lighter duty" tower will meet the many considered requirements. You may come to the conclusion that Rohn 25G will be sufficient for your needs. Maybe something even "lighter" than Rohn 25G is a possibility. Seeing the ever-increasing costs of new tower sections and hardware you may find yourself wanting to proceed with "used" tower.

Be very careful to study your facts on tower and not get burned on a deal. There is a "Light Duty" Rohn 20G still available from older installations of, primarily, TV antennas. The 20G Rohn and the 25G Rohn towers have differences that may not be known of or seen at an undereducated first observation. The horizontal lengths of "Z Bracing," (some call these "rungs"), on 20G is seven per section. The "rung" count on 25G is eight. Rohn refers to these as "bays". Thus, the bay count on 20G would be 6 as opposed to 7 "bays" on 25G. The gauge of galvanized steel used to make both tower grades, both in the wall thickness of the legs and the gauge of the "Z bracing", is different as well... 25G being the more substantial of the two. The structural support requirements (guy wires, bracing, "free stand" limits etc.) for the tower grades are different too.

These facts are not necessarily a "bad thing". In certain applications 20G is more than enough to be safe and secure. If you are looking for something for a "lighter duty requirement" set up... 20G may be just what you are looking for since so many see this as "disposable" tower.

The following is one hands on experience for the tower installation at my QTH. I wanted to offer this to "new comers" in the hobby or others that may be intimidated by HUGE DOLLAR AMOUNTS often encountered in a tower planting. There are economical and SAFE ways to "put some metal in the air."

Acquiring a tower...

There is a good chance that many homeowners, in your area, would like to have their old antenna support system removed from their property. This can usually be forecast when you see an old beat up TV antenna with the twin lead going nowhere and blowing in the breeze. Just knock on the door and ask. There are only a limited number of outcomes that could take place... "Get off my property before I call the cops", "I am going to put something up there on the 12th of never", "I still use it" or..." if you can take it down safely you can have it". I have acquired (2) Rohn 20G towers of about 40 feet each free for the removal efforts. Between the two towers I easily ended up with enough 20G to get 40 feet of tower in the air. The "extra sections" were given to friends who wanted to use them.

BEFORE YOU "CLIMB" ANY TOWER... INSPECT IT THOROUGHLY!!! I can't stress this point enough... The base section or any other given area may be rusted and weak. There is nothing like "riding down" a tower, from any height, strapped to it and nowhere to go if a section gives way and the tower comes down. The brace connection may come loose, as well with the potential to cause a dire situation. Just these two possible situations should never be considered to be rare events. Many people (hams and non hams) have been badly injured, worse yet killed, in these types of situations. Safety First!

Show up to the "job" with the proper equipment... Gin pole/ropes, climbers' belt/tethers, and other relative tools and don't show up with out your hard hat and other relative safety equipment. Above all bring a competent ground man... When the tower is down be kind enough to cut off the legs as flush as possible. Go as far as to "beat them flush" to the concrete (assuming the foundation is above grade) to avoid the possibility of someone tripping over or falling onto the remaining leg remnants and being injured.

Installation example...

The 3X3 square and almost 4 foot deep hole was the biggest chore. A good 6-inch or so layer of "drainage" material was laid in for leg drainage. This is a must if you do not want the legs to split from water accumulation and freezing. On a "pour" over one yard; It is highly suggested to have re-bar reinforcement in the "hole". You may want to go ahead and ground all three legs to an eight-foot copper clad ground rod before the pour too. Go ahead and ground that re-bar as well... Preparation is your friend.

The concrete, trucked in for a mere 150 dollars, was 150 dollars well spent. That was in the summer of 2005. I am sure the costs have gone up some since then. There was a 1 & 1/2 yard minimum, thus enough concrete for a really nice looking foundation well above grade and yes, scribing your call sign in the concrete is a MUST DO. After researching the cost of purchasing "bagged concrete mix" at home improvement centers, hauling it home and risking the breakage of my trucks suspension (it takes a LOT of bags to make a yard and a half) and the time, effort and concrete structural integrity knowledge needed to "mix my own"... I found that you can save a few bucks by mixing the concrete by hand. The difference in cost is rather insignificant when you consider the quality of the "mix." The quality and strength of the "mix" or "slump" is important. Unless you are very familiar with concrete mixing and know how to get around a "4000 mix" or if you want "fiber mesh" etc. etc... Leave the mixing to the professionals. Your hauling vehicle will be grateful as well as your back.

The tower is "planted" nearly 4 feet away from the exterior of the home. The tower is also bracketed to the house, at about 12 feet, via home brew stand offs for the aluminum siding (no electrical connection between the house and tower), home brew braces made from 1&1/4 inch gas pipe and angular joints and mounting plate fittings. -- Very inexpensive and VERY effective bracing.

This installation is more than enough to support a Mini hybrid quad for 6, 10, 15 & 20 meters @ 44 feet and a 10 element 2 meter antenna @ 48 feet. There is also a home brew out-rigger, about 28 inches out from the tower, at 39 feet up. This is where there is a pulley/rope system for the 135-foot doublet installed. Notice the rotator is nestled comfortably at the intersection of the last intermediate and top sections.

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Beatuful day here on the island....The RSGB has released a video about the GB2RS news service which is broadcast in many amateur bands and even via the QO-100 geostationary satellite transponder.....Bladeless wind technology...Captain of Boeing 777 shoots incredible time-lapse from cockpit....Only in West Viginia would they give you a gun as an incentive to get the Covid shot...

Clinton Engineer Works, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1944. "Calutron Girls -- Gladys Owens (foreground), one of the workers monitoring 'Calutron' mass spectrometers at the Y-12 uranium isotope separation and enrichment plant. Like many of these women, she did not realize the significance of her work in the development of the first atomic bomb until long after the war had ended."

Spanish submarine special event

Members of the Radio Club of Torrevieja (EC5RKT) will participate in the Museum Ships Weekend 2021 from the submarine S-61 "Delfin" in Torrevieja.

Operators are Georgette ON6AK/EA5HZC, Jean ON5JV/EA5HZB, and Paco ON6LP/EA5GVJ.
QRV as EH5SUB on HF.

Vermont Station Celebrates Transition to Public Ownership

Nearly 50 years after its first broadcast, a Vermont community radio station has announced that is officially owned by the public — a rare feat in the annals of radio ownership transition.

Station WGDR/WGDH was built and operated by Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., as a college and community radio station. In 2020, the newly established nonprofit Central Vermont Community Radio (CVCR) was gifted the radio station from the college, making it the only full-power community owned and operated noncommercial station in Vermont.

The transfer represents “a huge milestone nationally for the public and community radio industry,” the station said in a release. The move is noteworthy, especially for a college station, since university- and college-owned stations across the country are often sold to meet budget shortfalls, the station said.

TUESDAY EDITION: It was strange not having a parade yesterday, just doesn't seem right.....Is our sun going into hibernation?.....America's first bomber......Coming soon, planes with no pilots......When will a baby be born in space?

Why I like Amateur Radio

The Cyprus Amateur radio Society (CARS) reports Demetris Themistocleous 5B4ALS has produced a new video that explains why he likes amateur radio

The video has English language subtitles.

Watch Why I like Amateur Radio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tw-cC4jKzA

What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free UK amateur radio Online Training course
https://essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
KA1BXB-Don...Regular on 3928 afternoons....just don't mention politics to him, please!
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key Neil -K1YPM .....a true gentleman
Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....